We can’t deny the fact that everyone loves to cool off in a swimming pool when the summer is too hot for comfort.
If this is your case, buying an above ground pool will bring you comfort all summer.
They can adapt well to family needs, enjoy swimming time together with small spaces, and a low budget.
So, what is the best above ground pool on the market?
In this article, from what consumer reports, we will see the best models that you can choose which will be right for you.
Above Ground Pools: Top 8 Reviews
As promised, below are reviews of some of the top picks that you can find on the market.
1. Intex 28272NP Rectangular Frame Pool
If your space is small, this under $300 model is ideal for you. The rectangular pool can be easily assembled, and in just 30 minutes, it will be ready to enjoy and defuse the heat. You can place the pool directly on the ground. The rectangular size offers a capacity for six people.
Its steel metal parts with anti-rust finishes make it solid, safe, and rigid. The model is made of materials with great durability, especially its triple-layer Super-Tough canvas. Likewise, it has two connections: for the drain and the filter.
The liner (canvas that covers the skeleton) is made of three-layer PVC plastic and extra-strong polyester of the highest quality. These give the pool some resistance and long useful life.
It includes a drainage plug with an inlet for a hose that facilitates the draining of the water. Although it does not come with a filter, it does have a 32-millimeter connection to install it.
There are four models to choose from according to your preferred size and capacity.
- Four sizes to choose from
- Can be assembled in 30 minutes
- Sturdy metal frame gives support and durability
- Suitable for unlevel ground
- It doesn’t include the filter
2. Intex 28211EG Metal Frame Pool Set
Without a doubt, this is one of the best vinyl liner pools on the market. This is thanks to its solid rigid steel metal structure and its ideal size for three to nine people. If you have a family that includes children, you should choose this for its great comfort, large space, and heavy-duty construction.
Very easy to assemble, the product is made with extra resistant materials. There are two connections: one for the hose, the other for the filter. Included in the package also is an instruction manual which makes the installation a breeze (completed in 30 minutes). Note that unlike the Intex 28272NP, this model comes with a pump that has 530 gallons per hour water flow capacity.
The pool is round in shape and has a 30-inch height and 12-foot diameter. The water capacity is around 1718 gallons or 6500 liters, and you can fill the pool up to 90% of the capacity.
- There’s enough room for family
- Includes a filter pump
- Large water capacity
- The pump isn’t strong enough to filter out 1718 gallons
3. Bestway 57108US Round Pool Set
If you want a pool that the little ones in your house can have fun in, this Bestway model is the right size. Measuring 10 feet by 30 inches in dimensions, its capacity is not very large. The product is best for those who have a low budget and small garden space. Assembling, disassembling, relocating, and transporting the product is very easy. This is because it is inflatable and can be deflated when not needed. This makes the Bestway model very compact and light.
The pool has a capacity of 1185 gallons (almost 4500 liters). It takes 10 to 15 minutes to be filled up. The package includes a 330 GPH filter pump as well as a filter cartridge.
It is a fairly cheap under $1000 model that will allow the children to cool off. Even adults in the house can be in the pool with the kids too, without the bathers being too confined.
- Includes a filter pump and cartridge
- Fills up in 15 minutes or less
- Ideal for kids as well as adults
- The suction power of the filter pump could be better
4. Intex 56971EG with Filter Pump
This Intex Easy Set product is an inflatable pool with a polygon-shaped base and a round top. It’s a great pool in which you can have refreshing fun with your family and friends while escaping the summer heat.
The pool comes with pump with a 330 GPH capacity for keeping your swimming and bathing water crystal clear and healthy. As it is rightly named, this model is easy to assemble. You wouldn’t need tools to set the pool up, and it will be ready to be filled after the 10 minutes assembly time. Installation is even made easier by the provision of an instructional DVD. However, note that this product requires a level-flat surface. So, the only preparation activity which may take time will be the ground leveling, provided you don’t have a surface level.
The inflatable swimming pool is recommended for kids of ages 6 and above. Available at an under $200 price, it is budget-friendly.
- Fast and easy to set up
- Ideal for kids
- Includes a filter pump
- Comes with an instructional DVD
- Adults can’t join in the fun
5. Intex 28131EG Easy Set Pool
This is an inflatable medium size pool whose package features a DVD and filter pump. If you have a small family and just want to have some fun with the kids, this is perfect for you, thanks to the medium 12-foot by 30-inch dimension.
The biggest differentiating factor of Easy Set pools like this is their ease of assembling. They usually come with an instructional DVD that guides you as you set it up. Overall, the Easy Set pools take around 10 to 15 minutes to finish their set up. Also, the included filter pump is very easy to hook up.
The pool set weighs just 36.2 pounds (that’s around 16 kilograms). Being an inflatable model, you can deflate and pack it into a compact size when not in use. You can even tuck this item in a backpack.
Note that to enjoy the pool, the ground needs to be flat and level.
- Made for a full family (of around 6 members)
- Easy to set and dissemble
- For small yard
- The item is light and can be packed compactly
- Not made of the most durable material
- The ground needs to be completely flat
6. Bestway 56463 Steel Pro Frame Pool Set
This model is ideal for those looking for a medium-sized pool in which adults and children can bathe. The pool is made with top-quality materials and available at the best price.
The item can be assembled in less than 30 minutes by two people and without the use of tools.
The structure, measuring 18 feet by 48 inches, is made up of steel tubes that fit together. These are equipped with a system that secures and blocks the assembly.
To provide greater stability, the tubes are inserted in the canvas and in some lateral support bands. These tubes that form the structure are made of corrosion-resistant steel thanks to a special treatment. The liner has been manufactured by the brand with a strong three-layer “Tritech” material and is equipped with a filter.
The model includes a filter pump with up to 1,500-gallon capacity. Also included are a ground tarp, a pool cover, and a ladder for easily mounting up the steel pool. The Bestway model is large and strong enough to accommodate a large family. The water volume can go up to 6,092 gallons (23060 liters), and you can fill the structure up to 90% of the full water capacity.
Finally, like the rest of the models in this comparison, it is easy to empty through a valve connected to a hose.
- Large capacity model for friends and family
- Features a powerful filter pump
- Heavy-duty construction materials
- It’s great for swimming laps
- Steel parts can rust quickly
7. Intex 56945EB Metal Pool Set
Available for the price of a portable camera, this under $500 pool set has a great value for the money. Included in the pack are a ladder, cover, and more.
The ladder is very easy to set up. The set also includes a ground cover in the form of a tarp with cover for all the leaves. This item also features a pool pump with over one thousand gallons per hour capacity. If you can keep it maintained, it is ideal for dogs.
It’s a medium size pool with a dimension of 15-foot by 48-inch capacity. It takes 7½ hours to fill the pool. You have to fill the swimming pool up just underneath the round tube. Installing the product takes longer than 15-20 minutes, but it’s worth it. It’s very big, and your kids will have a blast. For the best comfort during spring or winter, you can equip it with heater.
The structure is made of heavy-duty steel materials which are powder coated so they can resist rusts.
You do not need tools to set this item up. All the metal beams easily pin and snap together.
- No-tool setup
- Includes a ladder, cover, and bottom tarp
- High-grade metal construction
- The included pump is too small for the pool size
8. Splash Pools TA 2452DT-PKG Round Pool
We end the review of the best above ground pools with a model from Splash Pools. This round model is made of strong, heavy-duty, hot-dipped, and painted 7-inch steel ledge that is galvanized. For better protection from nature, it’s an ideal pool to build deck around.
The set includes an A-frame ladder made of sturdy resin. Equipped with a barrier, you can lift it off outside to prevent access to the swimming pool. The set includes a 1 horsepower motor and pump. Also included is a video that includes installation steps for easy setup as well as a standard skimmer with a wide mouth. However, we will recommend the purchase of a separate and more powerful pump for the best filtering.
The wall with hard sides is 52 inches high and is made of high-quality galvanized steel material.
The pool consists of a vinyl liner with welded seams that can withstand all weather conditions. In addition, the item is covered by a 15-year manufacturer warranty as well as a lifetime customer support which is free. With its wide range of accessories, don’t expect it to be cheap, it’s not even an under $2000 product.
- 15-year manufacturer warranty
- Includes a ladder, pump, skimmer, and vinyl liner
- Very large and made of galvanized steel
- The included pump fails often and is not powerful
- Not for saltwater
Benefits of An Above Ground Pool
They are several benefits to purchasing an above ground pool as compared to an in-ground pool. These benefits are as follows:
An above-ground pool is a fraction of the cost as compared to an in ground pool which start at about $20,000. It is also half as expensive to maintain and the best ones can easily last decades.
If you are looking for an adult sized pool on a budget that is the right size for your family, an above-ground pool is the ideal choice for you.
Many Models & Layouts
Above-ground pools come in all kinds of shapes, size and materials which make them suitable for almost any home. With so many ready-made options available buyers have complete control over the style, layout and cost of their dream pool.
Easy Set up & Installation
An in-ground pool can take weeks if not months to set up and be swimming ready. On the other hand an above-ground pool is easy to set up and install and it can take no more than a few days to have it swim ready with perfect sparkling water.
Safer for Adults & Children
The best above-ground pool can prove to be safer than in-ground pools as they have a higher entry point which results in fewer slips and accidental falls into the pool or the area around it. The best and most durable above ground pools have fencing around the pool as well as reinforced walls which add to its safety.
Easy to maintain
Above-ground pools are generally easier to maintain and some can even be disassembled for storage after the end of the summer season. Using basic filtration systems and chemicals from time to time will ensure sparkling clean healthy refreshing water all season long saving both time and money in the long-run.
Things to Consider Before Purchase
When deciding on what is the best above ground pool for your needs it is important to consider the following:
The Right Pool Size
Carefully measuring out the area where the pool would be placed is instrumental in determining what size pool would be the most ideally suited. Most above-ground pools come in various sizes ranging from 10 ft. to upwards of 20 ft.
A pool that is too big would be harder to maintain and waste both time and money. On the other hand a pool too small would be no fun at all. Accounting for how many people would actually use the pool on a regular basis is also necessary when determining size.
If the pool is meant for adults you would likely prefer something sturdy and big whereas if it meant for children than it can be smaller and less durable.
The Right Shape
The shape of a pool can be an important thing to consider depending on the amount of space available and purpose of use. In most cases above-ground pool come in three shapes; oval, circle and rectangle.
Each shape has its own advantages. The rectangular shape is great for swimming laps while the oval and circle shapes are more for relaxing and watching the kids have a blast in the summer heat.
The Right Material
Understanding the different types of materials that above-ground pools are made of is essential in purchasing one that truly suits your needs. The best above-ground pools use the highest quality materials to enhance durability, strength, flexibility and sturdiness.
An above-ground pool made from high quality materials would result in lesser wear and tear which means less money spent on maintenance and repairs.
If you are looking for something durable and long-lasting than purchasing a pool made from stainless steel, aluminum or high-grade PVC is your best bet.
On the other hand if you are looking for something that is affordable and easy to install pools made from PVC, soft vinyl, and resin (a type of plastic) may be better suited for your needs.
Most above ground pools are generally safe as they have high entry points which protect against accidental falls into the pool. Also, the depth of most above-ground pools isn’t deep which makes it safe for children and adults alike.
Other safety related issues to be aware of is ensuring to follow the instruction guide when setting up and installing the pool. A small mistake during installation can have catastrophic results over-time.
Always be on the lookout for deals that include pool equipment such as a pool ladder, ground cloths, filter pumps and debris covers. This is because in most cases getting these items together can end up in a lot of savings and also help save additional time and money searching for parts from other sources.
When purchasing an above ground pool also ensure that all the installation tools and parts come with the product. Buying these separately can be a real drag!
Ease of Set up & Install
Another crucial factor to account for during the decision process is the time and cost for the installation and set up of the above ground pool. Most inflatable and soft material pools are relatively easy to install and can be done by one person without much difficulty.
More durable and long-lasting above ground pools may however require professional expertise during the installation process especially when setting up the filtration system and outer walls.
If you don’t have the experience and time, it might be worthwhile to have the pool experts come install one for you.
This would not only save you from a potential nightmare but also ensure that no additional damage is done to the property and surrounding area.
Price is always a factor is any buying decision and the best deals are those that get you the most satisfactory quality product at the lowest price possible.
After narrowing down the list of pools that fit your needs price can often be the determining factor in which one you end up choosing.
A well-reputed brand may be slightly more expensive but it is often worth the extra money. This is because their level of customer service and support are much better than new upcoming cheaper brand names.
Quality and warranty terms are also better for renowned brand names that help protect investment and safeguard against future pitfalls.
Popular brands that have been manufacturing for decades have many spare parts available that can be used to easily repair or fix an issue which is not the case for an unknown brand.
Maintenance of Above-Ground Pools
When buying any expensive luxury product its maintenance becomes paramount in order to get the best experience and results.
No matter how good a product is made without proper maintenance it is bound to break or fail at some point or another.
Here are some useful tips on how to best maintain above ground pools so that you and your family can enjoy clean, safe and healthy pool water.
Filter Pump Cleaning
Filter pumps are the most important piece of equipment on any pool as it helps keep pool water clean and circulating. The right pump and filter combination helps channel water to move in a circular motion which makes it hard for bacteria and algae to take hold.
Backwashing the filter pump and removing the filter cartridge for cleaning every other week can keep pool water looking sparkling clean with little effort.
Brushing & Vacuuming
Brushing the sides of the pool wall along with the floor will help in keeping algae and other contaminants from sticking on to the surface and being sucked up by a vacuum or filtration system. Brushing and vacuuming once a week is highly recommended for extra clear water.
Using proper equipment like a digital test strip reader can give you a precise idea on your pool waters cleanliness and hygiene.
These water testing devices are able to test both pH and sanitization levels which are essential in determining water quality. keeping such equipment on hand can really help in maintaining pool standards to desired levels.
The use of chlorine tablets offers a cost-effective and easy solution to protect against the growth of contaminants as chlorine helps in regulating sanitization levels.
Stabilized and processed chlorine is recommended for above ground pools as they dissolve slower and last longer thanks to UV protection.
Chlorine tablets are ideal for helping maintain sanitization levels and can be easily placed in a skimmer, floater or feeder for continuous sanitization.
Since most above ground pools are kept outside protection against the elements is limited. Debris and contaminants can quickly grow especially after a rainy period that can accelerate algae growth.
In such instances using shock treatment can help bring back water clarity and hygiene much more quickly and effectively. Shock treatment is also fairly inexpensive and produces great results keeping contaminants at bay.
6 Types of Above-Ground Pools
They are five common types of above ground pools available on the market each with its own unique features, benefits and cons.
Each type is completely different when it comes to price, durability and functionality.
A pool that is buried close to halfway into the ground is referred to as a semi-in-ground pool. These pools are made from ¼ inch thick tongue and groove aluminum slats that slide together making the pool wall extremely strong and durable.
This type of above ground pool is made for areas that are not on level ground and are amongst the sturdiest most durable above ground pools available on the market.
If your yard has a slope or if you have plans to build a deck but want to use as few materials as possible during construction the semi-in-ground pool may be your only choice.
A semi-in-ground pool is also compatible with salt water sanitation systems as they are generally constructed from thick aluminum that doesn’t rust.
Hybrid Above-Ground Pool
Made from a combination of resin and steel the hybrid above ground pool offers both functionality and style. The resin allows for a more modern appearance while the steel adds strength and durability.
The best hybrid pools have steel uprights attached to steel coping while the rest of the construction is made from resin.
The material combination allows this type of pool to be cheaper than semi-inground pools while still being able to retain similar levels of strength and durability.
Resin material was first introduced in the 80s for the construction of above ground pools. Over the years its popularity has increased as the material isn’t that expensive which makes resin pools more affordable to the masses.
The best resin above-ground pools are made from Synflex resin. Lower quality resin material cracks during cold weather and softens when it’s hot.
Synflex resin or talc filled resin material can withstand temperature changes and has increased durability. Due to their inability to rust resin pools are perfect for saltwater sanitation applications.
Rolled Wall Aluminum Pool
Constructed from a single continuous sheet of aluminum this type of pool is generally used for pools with saltwater sanitation systems as rolled aluminum is both durable and rust-proof.
This type of above ground pool is less expensive than semi-in-ground pools and is a smart choice for those looking for an affordable longer term saltwater pool.
Steel is the most recommended material for above ground pool and the preferred choice for most pool installers.
However, steel comes in many qualities so if you are to invest in a steel above ground pool it is extremely important to test the quality of steel used in its construction.
Sturdy, durable and long-lasting above ground pools with steel frame constructions are the best all-round above ground pools in terms of quality and price.
Inflatable pools are the most cost-effective and easy to install above ground pools one could buy. Generally made from heavy duty vinyl these pools are ideal for something short-term and relatively inexpensive.
The Bottom Line
An above-ground pool adds beauty to your space and lets you have fun with friends and family. The best above ground pool for you depends on what you want.
An inflatable and small to medium size under $600 model is ideal for kids to have fun and for a small garden.
Likewise, a large galvanized steel pool will be the best for adults who want to join in the fun.